put yourself at the table

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Meat, Veggies and Sides, Sauces and Such, Desserts, Dinner Party, Sources, Fête Fact, Posted on September 21, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten - Comments (1)
Isn’t it fun going to those upscale gourmet grocers and walking past their cases filled with amazing prepared fare? While tempting, picking up an entire dinner party that way can cost a small fortune. So, what should you do when you want the convenience of having everything made well in advance but you either want to showcase your own cooking and
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eat this

food detective The other night we stopped by my cousin’s in Lincoln Park for a glass of wine before heading out to dinner. She had a wonderful spread of cured meats and the most amazing fresh ricotta. My husband and I couldn’t wait to find out where she got it. Turns out there is an Eataly in Chicago. It’s a 12-minute drive from my apartment. And if you spend
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goodbye old friend

entertaining with style- making it work for you
Categories: Fish and Seafood, Poultry, Meat, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Sources, Posted on April 25, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten
You know how you sometimes take some of the best things for granted? They always seem to be there, so you assume they always will. The other day I had a panic attack as I realized I had just signed a lease for an apartment on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. Overlooking Belmont Harbor, it has views of Lake Michigan but no personal outdoor space.
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ode to my uncle

food detective
Categories: Meat, Dinner for Two, Supper, Lunch, Posted on March 17, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten
There's something about Scandinavian men of a certain generation, just with their presence they seem to make those around them feel safe and reassured. My uncle, a stoic man with a slight smile and radiant twinkle in his eye, always made me feel as though he truly saw me. As the youngest in my family by years, I adored spending time with my
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ham it up

food detective
Categories: Appetizers, Salads and Dressings, Meat, Cocktail Party, Lunch, Posted on February 17, 2019 by Sandy Bergsten
Happy Chinese New Year- it’s the year of the pig! What perfect timing that I stumbled upon the following recipe. One of my personal new year’s resolutions is to finally go through all my old cooking magazines that have literally been piling up for decades. And while I’ve been feeling some Marie Kondo pressure to simply pitch them all, I’m glad I
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let it marinate

Categories: Meat, Supper, Dinner Party, Fête Fact, Posted on August 5, 2017 by Sandy Bergsten
Wouldn’t you rather have cocktails with your guests then be chained to your grill? Caterers and many restaurants often precook their protein then finish it off right before serving. Time to think like a pro and follow suit. My citrus marinated pork tenderloin is exceptionally tender. The trick is marinating it the day before. Turning the Ziploc
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summer’s bounty

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Soups, Meat, Veggies and Sides, Desserts, Dinner Party, Posted on July 25, 2017 by Sandy Bergsten
My last cooking class at Dorothy Lane Marker’s Culinary Center was so much fun. We had a great group, plenty of farm fresh ingredients, and a lineup of recipes that could be done almost entirely ahead of time. Let’s face it- if you’re going to have people over you want to be out with your guests, not stuck in the kitchen. The theme was
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taco tuesday

food detective
Categories: Poultry, Meat, Sauces and Such, Posted on April 2, 2017 by Sandy Bergsten
Each day I discover these fabulous emails in my inbox from Bon Appétit, Martha Stewart, and the New York Times, all alerting me to what I should be cooking that day. It’s great marketing, because I click on every one of them. Last week there was one from a continuing series on how to recreate comfort foods. The recipe was for homemade taco
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iron glove

food detective
Categories: Meat, Dinner for Two, Supper, Dinner Party, Well Equipped, Posted on February 20, 2017 by Sandy Bergsten
While we all hope for velvet results, sometimes we need an iron hand to get there. Lately I’ve been looking to broaden my horizons. I’ve read some fascinating books- Colson Whitehead’s “Underground Railroad”, Affinity Konar’s “Mischling, and I’m just finishing Yaa Gyasi”s “Homegoing”. Obviously I’m not drawn to the cheeriest of books, rather ones
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taste of summer

perfecting the "done before they arrive" party- a work in progress
Categories: Appetizers, Soups, Fish and Seafood, Meat, Veggies and Sides, Desserts, Dinner Party, Sources, Wine Line, Posted on August 28, 2015 by Sandy Bergsten
Last week I was the guest chef at Moraine Country Club. We decided on a tasting menu to showcase all the season had to offer. It was such fun working with the staff and being back in a professional kitchen. As I uniformly chopped crates of vegetables for my gazpacho for sixty and wrestled the massive Hobart mixer the memories came flooding back.
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